DUBAI The mother of an Emirati girl allegedly tortured to death by her father has denied encouraging her ex-husband’s girlfriend to severely punish her two girls.
In a dramatic court scene, Salma came face to face with the two accused in the death of eight-year-old Wadeema, whose body was found in the desert in June.
Both Al Anoud M., 27, who is heavily pregnant, and Hammad S., 29, stood with eyes downcast as Salma took the witness stand for the first time and replied to a barrage of questions from Judge Meher Salameh Al Oufi.
Hamad and Al Anoud are accused of killing Wadeema and brutally torturing her seven-year-old sister Mira.
The accused had earlier claimed to be mentally unstable, but a medical report indicated that both were mentally stable.
Hamad and Salma got married in 2002 and divorced four years later. Salma and her ex-husband’s girlfriend are former high school friends.
“Did you ask Al Anoud to take your place in disciplining the girls?” the judge asked. Salma denied she encouraged her former friend to torture her girls, explaining that she had only asked her to take care of her girls.
The judge asked Salma whether she was aware of the torture her daughters were subjected to.
She replied: “Mira told me they used hot iron rods, hot water as well as flat irons on Wadeema, and that they used the same methods on her too.”
Salma said Mira was not sure what killed her sister.
“The last time Mira saw Wadeema, the latter was lying on the bathroom floor after being beaten by Hamad and Al Anoud,” said Salma.
Asked if she knew why her ex-husband and Al Anoud tortured the girls, Salma said: “Mira told me that Hamad and Al Anoud beat them to discipline them.”
When the judge asked Salma to explain her relationship with the accused, she said, “Hamad is my former husband and the custodian of the girls. I kept on communicating with him to make sure the girls were all right. Al Anoud was my friend, Hamad met her through me.”
The judge then asked her to explain the exchange of foul language between Al Anoud and herself.
“She started using foul language and cursing my lineage; I simply fired back. I got in touch with her — after I heard she had married Hamad — to ask her to allow me to see the girls as we were once friends,” said Salma.
The judge then asked Salma if she could recall the last time she had seen Mira and Wadeema.
“I saw them sometime in November last year. I did not see either of them until Wadeema passed away,” she said.
The court will reconvene on September 30 to hear the prosecution witnesses